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Nwanyanwu: An all-rounder eyeing presidency

Dan Nwanyanwu, the presidential candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for the February 25 poll, is a man of many parts. His tentacles are…

Dan Nwanyanwu, the presidential candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for the February 25 poll, is a man of many parts.

His tentacles are remarkable, having worked in different capacities as a lawyer, businessman and politician. He is equally a strong voice in the South East because of his passion for the region, especially concerning the agitations for a power shift to the zone.

He has garnered experiences in different fields and held several positions, both politically and otherwise on Nigerian soil.

He was the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), and later, chairman of its Board of Trustees (BoT) before he dumped the party for the ZLP, where he equally became the national chairman before picking the party’s presidential ticket.

The Imo State-born politician was elected as local secretary and branch secretary of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) in Apapa, Lagos.

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He became the chairman of the Domestic Committee of the Union Bank unit of the NUBIFIE in 1982. With this position, he became a member of the National Executive Council of the union. 

He was elected as the national treasurer of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), a position he held until 1989 when he was elected the national president of the union, which automatically made him a member of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). 

He attended Saint James Primary School in Amuzu, and Oraifite Boys’ High School in Anambra State. He read Labour Management Relations at the School of Business, Howard University, Washington D.C, United States of America. He worked in Union Bank between 1979 and 1993. 

Born in 1959 in Amuzu-Amaimo in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, Nwanyanwu has made a mark in defending the region on issues related to it. 

Position on S/East insecurity

Dan Nwanyanwu had linked the spate of attacks in the South East region to an alleged political conspiracy to de-market the region in the race for the number one job in the country.

He spoke during the heightened attacks on the facilities and personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the region

Nwanyanwu, who spoke on Channels Television’s “Politics Today,” described the April 5, 2021 prison break at the Owerri Correctional Centre as a turning point in the security crisis in the region.

He said, “About the insecurity in the South East, I have made my position very clear, right from the time there was a jailbreak in an Imo facility at Owerri prisons.

“The insecurity you have seen in the South East was imported because of where we are going now so that they will de-market people like us from the South East – that we cannot be president because there is insecurity in our place. It was imported.”

He alleged that the conspirators had been able to partner with some locals to do their “dirty job.”

Exit from LP

Nwanyanwu had dumped the Labour Party in a letter dated February 13 and addressed to his successor, Alhaji Abdulkadir Salam.

In the letter, Nwanyanwu, who ran the party as national chairman for 10 years before he finally handed over to Salam, alleged that his successor had turned himself into a “biblical Pharaoh” despite genuine advice given to him.

Part of the letter reads, “I regret to observe that events in the LP, especially with regard to the handling of the recently concluded nomination of candidates on the platform of the party for the 2015 general elections do not align with the integrity, transparency and accountability for which the party achieved reputation over the years.

“I have had cause to confront you personally with the information available to me regarding these matters of concern, and I must admit that your incoherent answers created more doubts in my mind about your innocence.

“Consequently, I hereby tender my resignation, both as chairman of the Board of Trustees of LP and member of the party. I have already taken steps to effect my resignation as a member of the party at my ward as required by the party’s constitution.”

It is imperative to state that during Nwanyanwu’s reign as the LP’s national chairman, the party produced one governor in Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko. 

Next direction 

Sequel to his exit from the LP, Nwanyanwu joined the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), where he became the party’s national chairman. 

He equally emerged as the party’s presidential candidate for the February 25 poll.

Presidential race

He emerged as the presidential candidate of the ZLP at its national convention in June 2022, ahead of this year’s poll.

The convention brought together 185 delegates across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Addressing delegates at the convention, he said his administration would guarantee fundamental human rights of citizens if elected.

“We will obey fundamental human rights of Nigerians. We will ensure that things are not done with fiat. Nigeria is shaking. I don’t need experience that will make me steal Nigeria’s money.

“Nigeria needs a fresh start with sharp minds that will turn things around. After one year of our government we will not be depending on oil.

“When I become president, I will unite all sections of Nigeria. I will make sure that there is trust among Nigerians irrespective of ethnic leaning. I will make use of traditional institutions and give them the role they should play.

“Traditional rulers and religious leaders will be given key roles in nation-building. In the first three months we will be able to see Nigerians smiling together again.” he said.


Political pundits have argued that Nwanyanwu and the party upon which he seeks to attain his political goal are not popular enough to take a shot at the presidency this year.   

Another factor analysts have brought to the fore is that Nwanyanwu is coming from the same geopolitical zone as the presidential candidate of his former party, Peter Obi, who is one of the top three contenders for the apex seat. 

It is argued that Obi would defeat him in the South East and many other geo-political zones because many do not know the symbol and logo of the ZLP. 

A political analyst, Chief Jackson Lekan Ojo said, “Since he emerged, we have not seen him on the podium campaigning. Is that how the presidency of this country is won?

“These are politicians who are just trying to bring the office of president to disrepute.”


Nwanyanwu has held several titles. He was the pro-chancellor and chairman of the Governing Council of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko in Ondo State (AAUA).

The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, HRM Oba Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo (Jilo 111), on the 50th anniversary of the Osemawa Dynasty, conferred on him the title of Otun Atunluse of Ondo Kingdom on 17 July 2010.

In recognition of his contributions to humanity, President Goodluck Jonathan conferred the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) on him on September 17, 2012.

Credible polls 

Nwanyanwu, in one of his media interviews, said President Muhammadu Buhari should leave a legacy of free, fair and credible elections in 2023.

He said, “Since the president has failed in everything he campaigned on, he should ensure that the forthcoming elections are transparent.”

He also gave the INEC a pass mark over its preparation for the election, saying the opposition will not hesitate to declare openly when the commission begins to deviate.

“The young ones are demanding to take charge of their lives. Nigerians have seen that they have been defrauded of what belongs to them,” he said.